Metahuman population

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Metahuman population

Postby Sun tzu on Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:48 pm

Something I've been thinking about:
Lightbringer has clearly stated that he's the first (and, so far, only) superhero of his world. And unless I misread something, there were no known supervillains prior to the Smiling Man.
Now, however, we have had several supervillains in a row. Right after the Lightbringer decides to use his powers.
Which brings the question: Is there a reason, other than narrative, why all the super-powered individuals are manifesting at the same time?
(Some superhero settings have all the superheroes and villains act up in one era, with no explanation (DC and Marvel come to mind). Others have some form of plot-device justification (Paragon City for instance, or the setting I'm currently using in an RPG I'm GMing). I was wondering which category Lightbringer fell in)
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Postby Linkara on Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:21 pm

I've been wondering when someone was going to bring up something like this. ^_~

Technically the Gentleman is older than the Smiling Man, but I'll go through comic chronologically to explain a few things:

-In the case of the Smiling Man, while we're still not ready to unveil his backstory, I will say that it involves alternate realities and his encountering Lightbringer in this case was purely coincidence since a lot of the items he was trying to obtain were located in Pharos City.
-The Gentleman is a spirit several hundred years old who believes that morality has broken down and the people of the world are drowning in corruption and chaos. As such, his abilities are mystical in nature. His style is to go to a high population area and slaughter those who he feels are at the height of immorality and then try to get his message across to the media. In this case, his path led him to Pharos City because despite the downfall of the Slavers, there is still a significant amount of prostitution. The Gentleman believes that prositution is one of the basest forms of immorality, so he just naturally went to the next location that needed to be dealt with. However, in his case, he decided to take his message one step further (instead of like in the past by sending out notes to the police and newspapers) by directly broadcasting to the population about their sins. Lightbringer foiled that attempt.
-The Darkbringer is also fueled by magic, but in his case that magic, as well as his new religion/philosophy, is not native to Earth. I will say, however, that the Darkbringer is the only villain so far who has gone to Pharos city DELIBERATELY to fight Lightbringer. The Gentleman and Smiling Man would have gone to Pharos City anyway because their purposes brought them there, and they just happened to coincide with Lightbringer's presence.

For the moment, there is no reason why all these superpowered beings are manifesting close to the same time (with the exception of the Gentleman, as he's been operating for the past few centuries). So far, none of the supervillains Lightbringer has faced have gotten their powers from the same source as him. I will say, though, that this is something I've thought about and I hope to address. From a narrative standpoint, it's because I wanted to approach Lightbringer from the perspective of the world's first superhero and without Golden-Age and Silver-Age inspirations, since to me it would detract from the idea of "believing a man can fly," as it were. Much like the Golden-Age Superman or the Post-Crisis Crimson Avenger, however, I will say that Lightbringer's appearance as the world's first superhero will inspire others to take up the cause.

Don't believe me? Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair. ^_~ http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/46532263/

Admittedly, I have not come up with a backstory for Lightbringer's powers yet. Part of it is I fear for the origin of his powers becoming who the character is. However, the other part of it is that I admit I haven't thought up a backstory for them that I feel comfortable with. With shows like Heroes or with DC and Marvel, they seem to feel that there at a genetic level, people could become superheroes. This is a rather twisted version of evolution (The Metahuman gene, the "mutant" gene, and whatever it is that gives the people in "Heroes" powers). Since I want my science in this comic to be reasonable, I don't want that generic explanation for superhuman abilities. However, I do feel that someday I will give an explanation, since I will say a few things:
-A not-yet introduced villain will have superhuman abilities from the same source as Lightbringer
-In the above image, "Majestic Woman" and "Kinesis" both have powers from the same source as Lightbringer and while those characters won't be appearing any time soon, they WILL be a part of the Angel Armor/Lightbringer universe.

So, to summarize - lots of villains have powers, but not necessarily from the same source. While there is not yet an explanation as to why they're all showing up at the same time, I will say that someday there WILL be an explanation for it. ^_~
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Postby Sun tzu on Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:34 pm

Huh. I was wondering if there was ever going to be an explanation for his powers, or if you had deliberately decided to keep it a mystery...

This is a rather twisted version of evolution

Tell me about it.
In the settings I use, there are super-powered mutants...But biologists are unanimous that the mutations are artificial, the result of genetic engineering (who the engineer is remains a mystery...for now).
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Postby Linkara on Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:47 pm

Sounds nifty. ^^ In my case, I do want to address the issue of where the powers come from, it's just that I don't want to put in too much pseudo-science to bog things down.

One thing that I'm trying to do with all the heroes I create is to ensure that they're not TOO powerful and that none of them are, say, Lex Luthor-genius level. I want people to make innovations that are possible in the realm of present-day science or, at the very least, are not possible to reproduce on a wide scale, since such things would have a HUGE impact on the world and I want to keep the world as close to the real one as possible. For example, Red Arachnid from the above pic as no powers. He's just trained himself in acrobatics and his gauntlets fire a number of different projectiles using magnets. Those cables he's swinging in on are actually several pieces of metal held together with an electromagnet.
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Postby VinnieD on Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:08 am

One theme I've noticed in super hero comics. There's always a Superman figure. Even if the character is nothing like Superman he often ends up being the one who inspires courage and heroism in others. I hope to address this issue in my own comic. To a degree Lightbringer has taken on that mantle. In the AntiBunny universe Lightbringer is a comic book, and served as Mors's inspiration. (Heheh. thanks for letting me do that cameo again.)

I tend to think where powers if any, come from don't matter so much as the internal drive to become a hero. Powers don't make the hero I think. LB addressed one issue I was wondering about. There are individuals whom have super powers, who become heroes. There are individuals who have no powers, whom still become super heroes. LB showed us that there are individuals with super powers whom remain normal people. (at least for a little while anyway) It took a while for LB to muster the courage to become who he is.

DC's Kingdom Come illustrated well what happens when there isn't a superman like figure to inspire others.
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Postby Sun tzu on Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:04 am

VinnieD wrote:One theme I've noticed in super hero comics. There's always a Superman figure. Even if the character is nothing like Superman he often ends up being the one who inspires courage and heroism in others. I hope to address this issue in my own comic. To a degree Lightbringer has taken on that mantle. In the AntiBunny universe Lightbringer is a comic book, and served as Mors's inspiration. (Heheh. thanks for letting me do that cameo again.)

I tend to think where powers if any, come from don't matter so much as the internal drive to become a hero. Powers don't make the hero I think. LB addressed one issue I was wondering about. There are individuals whom have super powers, who become heroes. There are individuals who have no powers, whom still become super heroes. LB showed us that there are individuals with super powers whom remain normal people. (at least for a little while anyway) It took a while for LB to muster the courage to become who he is.

DC's Kingdom Come illustrated well what happens when there isn't a superman like figure to inspire others.


It's true that a lot of universes have one such figure. For DC it's Superman, here it's Lightbringer (or so we assume so far), in "Saga of the Ram" it's the Ultimate Man (I think), in my own setting it's The Avatar (quite literally the incarnation of heroism - the concept made flesh)...But I don't recall such a figure in, say, Marvel (unless you accept the Sentry, who is at most a retcon).
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Postby Linkara on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:14 am

Ladies and gentlemen, Vinnie D hit it right on the head with something about the Angel Armor/Lightbringer universe - there is no such thing as the second tier, or z-listers, or anything else that would indicate that any group of heroes is better than any others. Yes, some heroes are more USEFUL than others in a certain situation, but in my humble opinion, anyone who puts on a cape or a mask is worthy of the designation superhero (with only two exceptions - very young children and people who kill).

Oh, and Vinnie D - you're quite welcome again. ^_^
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